Ohio high school seniors will face tougher standards to graduate this year

Some alternate pathways eliminated unless legislature takes action

Ohio high school seniors will face tougher standards to graduate this year
Ohio's tougher state standards were enacted in 2014, but have not been applied since temporary pathways have been available to high school seniors.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Starting this year, high school seniors in Ohio will face tougher standards in order to graduate.

Ohio high school seniors will face tougher standards to graduate this year

The standards were put in place by the state legislature in 2014, and they require students to pass a plethora of exams adding up to 18 credits, in addition to their coursework. If students cannot pass the exams, they may take alternate pathways, including a career credential approved by the state or an approved ACT or SAT college admission test score.

However, this is still a change from the last four years, when there were even more pathways available to students. While they still had to finish their coursework, they could surpass exams, instead completing community service hours, a senior capstone project, or maintain a 2.5 GPA in order to finish high school.

There is some pushback from state lawmakers who want to keep the temporary pathways in place, but there has been no motion to take those motions up for a vote so far this session.

That has some seniors questioning if they will need to study harder for those exams than they originally intended, since it now seems there may be far fewer pathways to graduation.

Aaliyah is a sophomore at one Akron high school. She told me she’s nervous about the tests and wishes the pathways were still in place.

"I think they should keep it alive. Like if other kids had to do it, why should it be different for us now?" she said.

However, Breasia Calhoun, a 21-year-old Akron resident who told me she had to take the standardized tests when she went to public schools in Akron, says she thinks it’s only fair that today’s students face similar standards.

"Basically if you want to get through school and graduate, you should be able to take the test and prove, like, that they taught you something," she said.

There are no estimates to how many students this could affect, but one Akron lawmaker told the City Council she believes up to 100 high school seniors per public school in the city might not graduate this year as a result of the reduced pathways.

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